By on March 30, 2011

While other manufacturers have problems getting parts, Saab has problems getting parts. But for different reasons.

“Production at Saab stopped for a second day on Wednesday as the money-losing automaker faces payment problems with its suppliers,” reports Automotive News [sub]. They add that Saab said it will start production again on Thursday, after money problems have been settled. According to the Automotive News report, Saab made a very inadvisable move: They did not pay their shipping company.

Saab spokesman Eric Geers told AN that Saab “had fruitful talks with transport firm Schenker, which would start deliveries to Saab again and allow production to resume.” Schenker is one of the world’s largest shipping companies and 100 percent owned by the German Railroad. In the business, you always pay your freight company, simply because they can make your life miserable by holding your freight at ransom. And that’s just for starters.

AN says that Schenker isn’t the only one that is waiting to get paid. “The information that we got at the end of last week was that suppliers have not been paid by Saab,” Svenake Berglie, chief of  Sweden’s FKG association of car industry suppliers told a public radio station. He also conveyed that suppliers with which he had spoken were very angry.  Unwise move #2: If you want to build cars, you need parts.

According to Automotive News, Spyker is hoping for new money from a familiar source: Vladimir Antonov. Says Automotive News:

“Antonov has been a long-time business partner of Spyker CEO Victor Muller and used to have a near 30 percent stake in Spyker. Spyker has already sold its sports car division to Antonov and the Russian said last week he would like to return to a 30 percent shareholding in Spyker-Saab. “

“He has said he was forced out of the original deal for Spyker to buy Saab from General Motors Co. after being suspected of being connected with organized crime.”

“He has said investigations have cleared him and that GM is ready to let him back as a shareholder.”

Schenker and the Swedish parts makers will be delighted to hear that.

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18 Comments on “Saab In Trouble Over Unpaid Bills...”

  • avatar

    Here’s some more background for those interested.
    “A bit of history, in 2002 Saab was forced to change its finance system and move the whole thing to Barcelona where GM had its central european system located. This system was used until January this year when Saab got their own system which apparently still has some glitches…”
    More details can be found at:

  • avatar

    “A bit of history, in 2002 Saab was forced to change its finance system and move the whole thing to Barcelona where GM had its central european system located. This system was used until January this year when Saab got their own system which apparently still has some glitches…”
    More background info can be found here:

    • 0 avatar

      Sure….. it is not because they don’t have a viable business plan, no capital and no profit… it is a glitch in accounting – the check is in the mail (or the dog ate it)

    • 0 avatar

      Viable business plan – check.  3 new models this year with a new 9-3 scheduled for 2012.
      Capital – check.  Fully funded business plan through 2013.
      Profit – Are you serious???  With the factory back online for only 12 months, having to renegotiate deals with suppliers as an independent mfr instead of under the GM umbrella, reviving the dealer network and you expect profit after only a year?  The goal (and yes, it’s ambitious) is to be in the black by the end of 2012.
      Haters gonna hate, no matter what.

    • 0 avatar

      Sorry CraigSu but it’s not about haters hating. It’s about cars not selling. They are grossly underfunded and out matched in this market.

  • avatar

    Swedish Zombie Ahead.

  • avatar

    Boris and Ivan will be over shortly to take care of the “problem.”

  • avatar

    I don’t see how Antonov can be any less reputable than the UAW. Incidentally, who is funding the five figure discounts necessary to move any Saab off any dealer’s lot? I’d think the dealers themselves would be vanishing into the night if they’re the ones paying for a third of every 9-3 and a quarter of every 9-5. I don’t see how the importer or the mob can be happy picking up the tab either. Doesn’t the real business plan consist of using Saab as a conduit for moving Swedish tax money into Russian gangsters’ hands? Where is the bail-out?

  • avatar

    If those thug-looking dudes are after Saab,  Saab has bigger problems to worry about…

  • avatar

    SAAB is back. It’s not the easiest ride, but there’s no denying. As soon as we see the next generation 9-3, things will turn out more clearly.

    • 0 avatar

      yes, read the review here of the Buick Regal Turbo.
      Take that, shave off 200 pounds, drop a MINI engine in, and then a hybrid electric rear drive.  Make it a hatch.  Should be interesting.

  • avatar

    I recently visited a local dealership to test drive a 9-3 and a 9-5.  The 9-3 is on my short list to buy. When  I sat down to talk a bit after the test drives, I was astounded that without any prompting to discuss price the sales manager without blinking an eye subtracted 10K off the 9-3 sticker and 11K off the 9-5 (in writing).  Wow.  Dealers are obviously not moving product.  How many new 9-5s have you seen out there passing you on the highway….zero and counting in my experience the past couple of months.  No wonder they can’t pay the bills.  I still want the 9-3 though, and when I flip on my grinder switch that sticker will fall through the floor for sure.

    • 0 avatar

      Here in southern California, the new 9-3 sedans being advertised for $22K seem like a good deal. You’d need to be a decent negotiator to get a stripped Accord or a high trim level Civic for that here. It is still only a good buy if you’re going to keep the Saab forever. They have no resale value. I just did a couple craigslist searches for potential LeMons cars, and the Saab 9-3s that popped for under $600 were the nicest condition cars I found.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    NATASHA: Silly car and truth interweb site is talking bad our about our…investment again.

    BORIS: You want I should write them another warning?

    NATASHA: Yes, dahlink! You type…

    BORIS: ‘type-type-type’

    NATASHA: Dear Mr Schmittovich and your meddling band of interbloggers,

    BORIS: ‘type-type-type;

    NATASHA: To stop with the writing about Saab and its investors would be a healthy idea. Or we will cut of your #(&[email protected] and hang them from rearview mirrors as air fresheners. Then (*#$^!ing &^%#$ the rest of your bodies to make seat cushion for dynamic new 9-5 car.

    BORIS: Good! I send now…

    NATASHA: Wait! Car and truth people cannot know it is us. Type this…

    BORIS: ‘type-type-type’

    NATASHA: Sincerely, Ray Wertovich

    BORIS: Ha ha ha! This more fun than cold war.

  • avatar
    doctor olds

    I wish Saab well, but the car business is very, very tough. This is not a good sign.  

  • avatar

    Spyker’s stock price dropped 6,1% on the AEX index (Dutch stock market) when this news broke yesterday morning, but is up about 3% again today after news that Spyker will attract new loans to cover their 400MM loan from the European Investment Bank.

    The latter has to enjoy the continued support of the Swedish government and there was some talk that the Swedish government called for a meeting with Spyker to potentially re-evaluate their support, leading to concerns over Spyker’s liquidity.

    The factory is up and running again, so crisis averted…for now.

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